Rare Bird - Rare Bird

Rare Bird
Rare Bird are perhaps best remembered for having the distinction of being the first act to be released on Tony Stratton Smith's gloriously eclectic label Charisma records (also the home of GENESIS, THE NICE and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR to name but a few) and for their excellent 1970 hit single 'Sympathy'. Like fellow future Charisma stable mates Van Der Graaf Generator, Rare Bird was formed around the principle of keyboard dominated progressive rock which eschewed the use of guitars. In December 1969 their eponymous debut album was released to great critical acclaim, (also becoming a US Billboard chart hit) and was followed in January 1970 by the release of 'Sympathy' b/w 'Devil's High Concern'. The single reached the UK Top 30 and was a subsequent major hit throughout Europe.
Our Price: £10.95
Code: ECLEC2001
Weight: 200
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1. ICEBERG
2. TIMES
3. YOU WENT AWAY
4. MELANIE
5. BEAUTIFUL SCARLET
6. SYMPATHY
7. NATURE’S FRUIT
8. BIRD ON A WING
9. GOD OF WAR
BONUS TRACKS
10. DEVIL’S HIGH CONCERN
11. SYMPATHY (MONO SINGLE VERSION)

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Epic Forest
Though it made little impact on its original release in 1972, Rare Bird’s “Epic Forest” has since been widely acclaimed as a classic of the pre-punk era: a unique album that fuses the emotional reach of classical music with the harmonies of Sixties pop, yet without ever succumbing to the excesses of the period. In the whole history of rock, only two bands have ever achieved any degree of prominence with a line-up that included two keyboards players and no guitarist, Rare Bird and Greenslade. The original Rare Bird, formed in 1969 comprised of organist (and principal composer) Graham Field, electric pianist Dave Kaffinettti, vocalist Steve Gould and drummer Mark Ashton and it was this line-up that made an immediate impression with their eponymous debut, which was also the debut of Charisma records. Its successor ‘As Your Mind Flies By’ was equally a success, with the band also making Billboard magazines Top Ten New Bands Of The Year while ‘Sympathy’ reached the UK Top 30. It was an ever bigger hit over in Europe more, particularly France where it was a huge Summer hit and became the disco-smooch soundtrack of choice for a generation! Yet with Rare Bird’s course for greater things seemingly well set, it came as a something of a shock to fans when Field upped and left to form the short lived Fields. This would result in a change of direction that would surprise all! Much of the classical tendencies went with Field, alongside the addition of second lead vocalist/guitarist Andy ‘Ced’ Curtis and Gold’s decision to take up the axe resulted in a sound that owed more to the lush harmonies of Harmony Grass and the duelling guitars of Wishbone Ash than ELP or Yes. When any band re-invents itself quite so comprehensively there is always a price to pay in the terms of those fans that cleave the earlier style. Those who had claimed them for the Prog-Rock movement felt especially betrayed by the shift. Yet to anyone without such narrowly defined loyalties, ‘Epic Forest’ has clearly weathered the decades better than either of its two predecessors. In purely commercial terms it failed to capitalise on the success of Rare Bird’s first two albums yet it contained no shortage of songs that would enable the band to cement their reputation as a storming live act with songs that afforded Gould and Curtis scope to dovetail their guitar to thrilling effect. ‘Epic Forest’ stands as one of the most inspired and individual albums of an oft-derided period, while Rare Bird are remembered as one of the handful of bands who found a genuinely distinctive way of fusing the harmonic languages of Sixties pop and classical music without ever resorting to the empty flourishes and pointless virtuosity that so discredited Prog-Rock and finally brought the whole edifice crashing down in 1976. Our Price: £9.95

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As Your Mind Flies By
Rare Bird are perhaps best remembered for having the distinction of being the first act to be released on Tony Stratton Smith's gloriously eclectic label Charisma records (also the home of GENESIS, THE NICE and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR to name but a few) and for their excellent 1970 hit single 'Sympathy'. Like fellow future Charisma stable mates Van Der Graaf Generator, Rare Bird was formed around the principle of keyboard dominated progressive rock which eschewed the use of guitars. Following the success of their debut album and single ('Sympathy'), the band recorded this classic album in the Summer of 1970. 'As Your Mind Flies By' featured the epic 'Flight', a legendary piece which dominated the albums second side. An excellent work, the album met with much success, with Billboard magazine in America declaring Rare Bird to be in the top ten best new acts of the year. Our Price: £10.95

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Somebody’s watching
Released 24/11/08. Esoteric Recordings follow on from the highly successful reissues of Rare Bird s first two albums in 2007 with this classic rock album from 1973, their second release for POLYDOR. Best known for their hit single Sympathy, by the time of this album Rare Bird had changed line-up s, though still retained their progressive style. Somebody'S Watching features guest musicians Nic Potter (of Van Der Graaf Generator) and former Family and future King Crimson member John Wetton and includes their classic interpretation of Ennio Morricone s theme to A Fistful of Dollars . This Esoteric reissue also features both sides of their 1973 single Virginia as bonus tracks. Our Price: £10.95

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Born Again
Released 24/11/08. First official CD release for this classic album - re-mastered from the original master tapes booklet with photos & notes - fully restored album artwork reviews in Uncut , Mojo , Record Collector & Classic Rock Magazines coverage on relevant websites & fanzines Esoteric Recordings follow on from the highly successful reissues of Rare Bird's first two albums in 2007 with this classic rock album from 1973, their second release for Polydor. Best known for their hit single Sympathy, by the time of this album Rare Bird had changed line-ups, though still retained their progressive style. Born Again was Rare Bird's final album and included heir classic Diamonds. This Esoteric reissue is a companion CD release to their 1973 album Somebody's Watching and also features both sides of their final 1975 single Don't Be Afraid as bonus tracks. Our Price: £10.95

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Gun
Race With The Devil, reached the UK Top Ten in December 1968, it catapulted power trio the Gun from the bowels of the London underground club circuit to the forefront of the British pop scene. Released a couple of months later, the group s self-titled debut album boasted an equally dazzling, idiosyncratic combination of hard rock ferocity and striking orchestral arrangements, and it can now be seen as a major stepping stone in the gradual metamorphosis of late 60s psychedelic rock into what would become known as heavy metal. This newly re-mastered reissue features contemporaneous single releases, rare photos and fresh quotes from founder member Paul Gurvitz.
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